This blog is going to to be all about living in a mobile homes. Everything from the funny misconceptions to the perfect dream remodel.
Do you have any funny stories, mobile home repair advice (like, what’s up with finding doors that actual fit without having to have a woodworking shop to make the ones at my local home improvement store fit? And those God Aweful wall strips??), Pictures of remodeling your trailer to a treasure?
If so, please share!
I am excited to finally have this blog up and running. I am an avid DIY’er and have a lot of fun, orginal, easy, cheap things to share with y’all about making your trailer one to treasure!
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The first problem we ran into was the rims. They are not in any shape to hold air in a tire.
Esterel Caravans were made in France. The U.S. made them for a couple of years in the 80’s. You cannot find the rims in the U.S. AT ALL.
⚠️Caution: Rant ahead. Skip to next paragraph to spare yourself.⚠️
After about a week of searching I found a place in Ireland that sells them and had an option to ship to the U.S. so I ordered them. They then tell me they are out of stock and will ship them as soon as they get them in. Now, about 3 weeks later, I am told they are still not in and they normally do not offer shipping to the U.S. via their website so they are having problems trying to figure out shipment details because they only charged me a local shipping rate at the time of order. Needless to say, I am not holding my breath that I will ever see these new rims, if not, we will have to replace the axle to fit some modern U.S. rims.
In the meantime, its time to gut her. Be sure to label all wires and take LOTS of pics and notes for reference!
Wow. I can’t believe all that fit in that little camper!
Now, the floor. Ugggggghh, The manufacturer made this caravan from the ground up but we have to replace the floor from the walls down. The entire bottom, outer wall frame IS NOT attached to the metal trailer frame…… AT ALL. What??? And Why???
The 1×2’s that hold all 4 walls up is then attached to the 1×2’s that is part of the floor frame. The floor frame is the only thing that is attached to the metal trailer frame.
Now, I’m not an engineer or a “scientific rocket”, as us southerners say, but I do know how gravity works. We can’t just go in and cut the whole floor out at once to replace it. If we do, the camper shell will just fall. On the ground. Damn.
Plan B. Do the floor in sections and support the walls in each section as we go.
About a month ago we found this early 80’s model Esterel Supermatic folding caravan.
After some research, we found them pretty rare in the states so we decided to tackle a restoration. We have never restored a camper before and have no idea what we are getting into.
This may be an epic fail or a great learning experience. Either way, we hope this blog series will help and inspire others who are thinking of restoring their own camper and hopefully some of our ideas and mistakes will save you some time and frustration!
She had been sitting in the woods upright (unfolded) for many years, had a full cover of moss on the top, little trees growing inside the walls, and 2 flat tires with busted rims.
So we folded it down, wenched it on a trailer, and brought it home.
After a good pressure washing and some scrubbing the moss was gone!
Here are some pictures of the inside in all its original early 80’s glory.
Although she looks in good shape, she has A LOT of work to be done. Unfortunately, the previous owner stored her in the “up” position. This camper is designed to be stored folded down to avoid leaks. After further investigation, we know of 2 corners, and around 2 windows that will need to be completely redone due to water damage. The floor is in really good shape, however, the underbelly lining is deteriorating (from sitting in the woods so long) which allowed moisture in to the bottom layer of the floor. Although it is not rotted, it cracks like crazy when you walk on it so a whole new floor will need to be put in.